She’s Got the Height [petite models]
So I found myself in my mid-30’ s addicted to reality TV modeling shows & I developed a love & passion for the art of modeling. Every mirror was a camera & every hallway was a catwalk. I even was privy to hook up with a few photographers who confirmed that I really had what it took to rock a photo shoot. Friends would tell me that if ever those modeling shows allowed older women, that I should definitely apply.
Then one day, the doors of Heaven opened up & lo & behold, its, “She’ s Got the Look,” a modeling competition reality show for women over the age of 35. I couldn’ t believe it! It was a dream come true. But I was concerned, because I knew I wasn’ t “ model-height” at 5’5” tall. I called up Wilhelmina, the contracting agency for the winner of the show. They told me that although the show is open to everyone & anyone, that they only contract with women 5’ 9 & taller.
Wow…so I might have a chance of getting on the show, but I can not win? All because of my height? Something that is not even in my control to change? The sting of height-discrimination was very real & painful, but at the urging of friends, I applied for the show anyhow. The casting process was very lengthy & involved. It was a few months long & included extensive Psychological evaluations, on-camera interviews & doctor’ s exams.
Well, out of thousands of women from across the country, I was chosen to be a part of the top 20. I was actually led to believe that I was in the top 10. It wasn’ t until I flew to L.A. & arrived at the set that I realized that there were actually 20 of us & that 10 of us would be getting eliminated that day.
I was in the land of “ Glamazons” at that point and doing all that I could to fit that typical “ model-mold”. I had on my 6 inch heeled boots to look as tall as I could despite the excruciating pain. I also chose to dress in a way that concealed my curves & athleticism…after all; models don’ t have muscles or curves. It was really quite ridiculous when I think about it. As much as I wanted to take off my jacket because it was warm on set, I knew I couldn’ t. And I definitely couldn’ t take off my shoes & “ offend” them with just how “ petite” I really was. Well, long story “ short” (pun intended) – there was a runway “ challenge” (which I ROCKED) but I was still eliminated.
The experience was a valuable lesson for me in being more accepting and proud of how God made me instead of trying to be something that I’ m not. It also fueled my desire to want to do whatever I could to help Bella Petite Magazine with breaking open doors for petites in the fashion industry. Why? Because petite models got it goin’ on! We rock!
Written by: Jeanene Cannon “Bringing Fitness To Your Community”
Tune in to this weeks Bella Petite Hour with Jeanene Cannon!
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